Box Hill recorded its first VFLW victory on Saturday with a one-point win over the Western Bulldogs at Box Hill City Oval.
Janet Baird, Zoe Barbakos, Charlotte Baskaran, Catherine Brown, Sophie Locke, Sarah Perkins and Tamara Smith were the seven AFLW-listed Hawks who suited up in the brown and gold, with Baskaran, Baird and Smith all making their Box Hill VFLW debuts.
Although it was a difficult contest, Box Hill Coach Cherie O’Neill was thrilled to see her team sing the song at the end of the game.
“It was great to get a win, our first win of the season,” O’Neill said.
“We had a lot of new players pulling on the Box Hill guernsey in the middle of the song, so that’s always good.”
Read O’Neill’s thoughts on each AFLW-listed Hawk as well as who she liked from a VFLW-listed point of view.
Janet Baird (9 disposals, 7 kicks)
“Janet played on the wing which is a bit of a different position for her so she was getting to know structures. As the game went on, she was more and more comfortable with it so she did really well out there.”
Zoe Barbakos (1 goal, 8 disposals, 6 tackles)
“Zoe is a tough little forward and is never scared of a contest. She provides a lot of run and a lot of pressure down there in the forward half.”
Charlotte Baskaran (23 disposals, 3 tackles)
“Charlotte did some really good things including hitting up some great targets. She’s got a lot to build on and it was great to see her make her VFLW debut with us.”
Check out all the highlights from our VFLW win over the Western Bulldogs on Saturday! 🎥⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Z6bGCIbhhQ— Box Hill Hawks VFLW (@boxhillvflw) April 3, 2023
Catherine Brown (10 disposals, 2 tackles)
“Catherine is always solid and sets up the ground well. She’s a good asset to have down here.”
Sophie Locke (1 goal, 15 disposals, 5 marks, 5 tackles)
“Sophie was in the midfield for most of the game during the first three quarters. She provided some really good pressure inside the middle there. Then we moved her up forward as a bit of a target as well. She was really solid for us on the day.”
Sarah Perkins (2 goals, 12 disposals)
“It was really good to see Sarah back in the Box Hill colours. I think there was a stage there where she fired up a little bit and then she started hitting her straps. She always provides great leadership down in that forward line and good directional talk.”
Tamara Smith (10 disposals, 7 tackles)
“Tamara is always good. Her pressure down forward was really strong so she provides a great option inside 50. We then moved her into the midfield for the last quarter and she got a good run, applying nice tackle pressure as always.”
Jordan Mifsud (1 goal, 27 disposals, 6 tackles)
“Really big shout-out to Jordy in the middle. She’s been an absolute rock for us. She played for us last year and is always doing the small things. She’s very quiet, goes unnoticed, but is really just an elite athlete.”
Grace McRae (22 disposals, 2 marks, 6 tackles)
“Grace is going from strength to strength. She’s in our leadership group this year and she’s really taken a step up. She’s leading by example on and off the field.”
Emerson Woods (11 disposals. 2 marks, 3 tackles)
“Emerson mainly plays forward but we threw her up onto the wing last minute and I was really impressed with the way she embraced the game and took it on. She helped give some direction out there.”
The Box Hill Hawks next face the Southern Saints on Sunday, 3pm at RSEA Park.
O’Neill was looking forward to a big contest.
“We played them in a practice match a few weeks ago and they’re definitely a good side,” she said.
“They’ve got a lot of run and they set up the ground really well so they play well as a team.
“We’ve just got to be accountable with our one-on-ones and hopefully start playing the game a bit more on our terms but I think it’ll be a really good game.”
Entry to Sunday’s clash is free and it will also be live-streamed on AFL.com.au, the AFL Live official app and the AFL Women’s App.